Consider Twice, before sharing

by | Nov 18, 2019 | ICT4D |

Sharing can be challenging in our house at times. Each of the kids wants a certain train engine, ball, or marker. It’s viewed as quite binary – if s/he has it, I don’t.

Sharing food is slightly different. We can share an apple pie and each have a piece. Not the same piece, but the same pie. Unfortunately, the pie doesn’t regenerate, so when there is no more pie, the sharing stops.

However, data is one of those things that is slightly different. When we kept paper records, the sharing was more binary. If you had the binder with records, I didn’t. Then carbon copy paper was invented. Then the photocopier came around. We created the problem of multiple copies. Which one is the master again?

Then we made it all digital. It was easier to have share files but we repeated the multiple copies problem. Now with the cloud, we have reduced this in some situations.

This is frustrating when you have a guidance document you are developing with a group. But when it is information – reports, history, bio data – about you. It is more than frustrating, it’s dangerous.

The other challenge about digital data sharing is that it’s difficult to trace with whom it has been shared. And controlling with whom it is shared is extremely difficult.

Sharing data digitally is not binary nor is it like sharing food. In some ways, sharing data digitally is infinite. It is often done on trust or is transactional. And it is often the onward sharing that causes trust to breakdown.

So it spreads. And spam occurs. Identity theft.

When working with materials, there’s the old adage – measure twice, cut once. Perhaps we need one, something like consider these things twice, before sharing.

Photo by freddie marriage


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